Detroit, MI – Henrik Zetterberg scored the winner 1:04 into overtime as the Detroit Red Wings survived a late collapse to take a 4-3 win over the Anaheim Ducks in Game 6 of this Western Conference quarterfinal series.
Detroit had blown a two-goal lead late in regulation, but forced a deciding Game 7 when a left circle faceoff win saw the puck eventually get to Zetterberg, who blasted a big shot from the top of the left circle that went through a Justin Abdelkader screen and sailed past Jonas Hiller.
"We started to feel the frustration when the puck doesn't go in, but at the same time we've been doing a lot of good things on our line," said Zetterberg. "We just keep at it, keep shooting the pucks, and the pucks will go in eventually. Today, I don't think they were two of my hardest shots, but they found a way to go in."
The series will be decided in Anaheim, as the Ducks host Game 7 on Sunday night.
Zetterberg posted two goals and an assist, Pavel Datsyuk had a goal and two assist and Daniel Cleary notched the other marker for the Red Wings, who got 34 saves from Jimmy Howard.
Emerson Etem, Kyle Palmieri and Bobby Ryan all scored for the Ducks, who saw Hiller give up all four goals on 29 shots.
The only goal of the first period went to Detroit at the 18:48 mark. Holding the puck deep along the left boards, Zetterberg sent a short pass to Datsyuk, who took the puck on the backhand from the left circle to the slot, avoiding a defender before snapping home a backhand for his second of the playoffs.
Howard held the lead three minutes into the second when he made a tough stop off a Teemu Selanne chance down low off a 2-on-1 break, but the Ducks did tie the game later in the frame.
The Wings appeared to catch a break as Palmieri's shot from the right wing on the fly hit the post, but it bounced out front where it hit off of Brendan Smith and went in for Palmieri's third of the playoffs at 11:31 of the second.
Detroit, though, went back on top at the 6:19 mark of the third as Zetterberg's slap shot from the top of the left circle beat Hiller through a screen for a 2-1 lead.
The Red Wings then gave themselves some breathing space as a quick shot from Justin Abdelkader along the left boards hit off of Cleary providing a screen of Hiller with 8:30 to play, but the Ducks rallied to tie the game.
The first goal came off a bad turnover as Valtteri Filppula took the puck behind his own net and from the left side he sent it back the other way. The only person there, though, was Etem and he tucked the gift in to make it a 3-2 game with 3:28 to play.
It took less than a minute for the Ducks to tie the game as Francois Beauchemin sent the disc from the right boards over to the front where Corey Perry got a stick on it and Ryan slammed it home for his second of the playoffs.
"I told the guys after the first period that we're playing not to lose instead of playing to win and you can't play like that," said Washington head coach Bruce Boudreau said. "We didn't do it the same way we came out in overtime, and I said we had to continue playing the way we did at the end of regulation. But maybe we'll learn from our mistakes, and we've still got one more to go."
There has been four overtime games in the series, three of which were won by Detroit ... This will be the 23rd Game 7 in Detroit postseason history, while the Ducks will be playing in their seventh ... These two teams had a Game 7 once before in the 2009 semifinals, which the Red Wings won ... Anaheim didn't have a power play in the game while the Red Wings went 1-for-3.